Posts tagged Minnesota Zoo
Morrie’s has partnered with the Minnesota Zoo to help restore Minnesota’s Prairie Wildlife by providing a Mazda CX-5 vehicle. Minnesota Zoo conservationists use it in the field across Minnesota and beyond researching prairie butterflies, moose and more recently bison. Below you’ll find an update from Minnesota Zoo conservationist Erik Runquist.
The Minnesota Zoo works every day to save wildlife. Our programs in Minnesota and around the world depend on partnerships. We have benefited from a great Mazda CX-5 field research vehicle through a generously donated lease from Morrie’s Automotive Group. In the past several months, we’ve taken the field vehicle across Minnesota and beyond to help save prairie butterflies and restore bison. Here are our Top Five spots from this summer!
1) The Minnesota Zoo
Who wouldn’t want to be at the Minnesota Zoo? At the Zoo, we expanded the world’s only breeding program for the US Threatened Dakota skipper, raising more than 150 from egg to adulthood, and produced many hundreds more eggs! The CX-5 was a true work horse, hauling around hundreds of food plants for the butterflies and other supplies!
2) Northeast South Dakota
Northeast South Dakota may have the world’s last best populations of Dakota skippers. We found most populations to be in good shape! Working under federal and state permits, we collected more eggs from a limited number of females and brought the eggs back to the Zoo.
3) Northwest Minnesota
With possibly the last Dakota skipper populations in our state, northwest Minnesota is very important to our work. With the CX-5, we found healthy numbers at the known site, and also searched new sites for previously unknown populations.
4) Western North Dakota
In mid-June, we took the CX-5 from the Zoo on its longest road trip ever: to western North Dakota! We surveyed prairie butterflies and looked for the rare Garita skipperling. While the skipperling remained elusive, we did find some spectacular prairies and great wildlife on the edge of the Badlands.
5) Minneopa State Park
Speaking of bison, did you know that the Minnesota Zoo and DNR proudly established a new herd of genetically rare bison at Minneopa State Park near Mankato in September? Zoo staff used the eye-catching CX-5 to help usher in a new era of Minnesota prairie wildlife conservation at Minneopa!
We are doing a lot thanks to all our great funders and partners. With the awesome Mazda CX-5 field vehicle from Morrie’s Auto Group, we can it do so much better! Thank you Morrie’s!
The Mazda CX-5 field vehicle that Morrie’s Minnetonka Mazda donated to the Minnesota Zoo for moose and butterfly conservation projects has come in handy this winter! Dr. Brian Kot, a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Minnesota Zoo, has used it to check up on the wolves he is tracking using GPS collars, for a study of wolf-moose interactions in northeastern Minnesota. Brian is comparing how wolves and moose use their habitat, to understand where moose are at high and low risk of predation. Minnesota has lost more than half of its moose population in the past ten years. Wolves have also recently been returned to the US Endangered Species list with a “threatened” listing in Minnesota.
Check out Brian’s photos from recent excursions using the field vehicle!
Here it is, the latest update on our MN Zoo Field Research Vehicle! Back in June 2011, we presented the Zoo with a brand new wrapped Mazda CX-5 to help with their research efforts. (Check out the video here). Scientist, Dr. Kim VanderWaal, has been very busy working with radio telemetry equipment and trying to locate radio/GPS-collared deer!
Kim’s project is focusing on parasite transmission from deer to moose in northeastern Minnesota. We believe this is a factor that is likely contributing to the moose decline. Kim and her research partners have placed tracking collars on more than 10 deer so far and are looking to see how their movements overlap with those of moose in the area. Kim is also using the field vehicle to find and collect deer pellets, so that they can be analyzed for the presence of parasites that harm moose.
We’re thrilled to see how our Mazda CX-5 donation has helped the Minnesota Zoo with their research efforts. Stay tuned to our blog for more updates as researchers continue to make strides in conserving the MN Moose and endangered species population!
It’s been awhile since we’ve updated you on the progress of the Minnesota Zoo Field Research vehicle that we donated back in 2012. By providing the Zoo with the CX-5 we are able to assist with conservation research efforts by providing the necessary means of transportation so that researchers can to travel to area’s where field work can be conducted.
Since our last update, Biologist, Nick McCann published a scientific manuscript in the Canadian Journal of Zoology that describes how moose at the Minnesota Zoo responded to heat last summer. He also drafted a second manuscript that identifies habitat that free-ranging moose in northeastern Minnesota select when “bedding down” (laying down to rest and digest food). Results from his research will be used to develop science-based management recommendations, with the goal of keeping moose in Minnesota into the future.
Researcher, Brian Kot and his field team recently completed a short series of tests where attempts were made to capture wolves and then release them with GPS tracking collars. This is part of the study was to understand wolf-moose interactions in northern Minnesota. Based on information from these field tests, Brian will build new equipment this winter and resume field work in the spring. He is now working with federal, state, and tribal biologists to analyze behavioral and ecological data from wolves in different areas of Minnesota.
Last but not least, Kim VanderWaal is also making strides in field research in the Mazda CX-5. She traveled to northern Minnesota, where she placed GPS-collars on wild white-tailed deer. She was in the field during Winter Storm Cleon, wading through thigh-deep snow (36 inches!) in this unseasonably cold December. The aim of the project is to determine how deer and moose utilize the same habitat, and how that might influence the transmission of harmful parasites from deer to moose.
Here is a picture of the whole butterfly research team!
We’re so thankful that the Mazda CX-5 Field Research vehicle has helped with Minnesota Zoo Moose and Butterfly research efforts. Here at Morrie’s, giving back is important to us and we are proud to be able to work with such a great organization to help grow our community. Make sure to stay tuned for our blog for updates on the Minnesota Zoo Field Research Vehicle and everything else going on within our organization!
Morrie’s Automotive Group has been involved in our local communities since Morrie Wagener opened his first store in Wayzata, MN over 50 years ago. Giving back to the community has always been a core value for Morrie’s, and we are grateful to be able to support the local communities that we live and do business in, leading us to establish our Buy Happy Giving program in 2011.
We are pleased to announce that last month we donated a Mazda CX-5 to the Minnesota Zoo. Since 1978 the Minnesota Zoo has been connecting people, animals, and the natural world through cutting edge exhibits and education programs.